Sunday, August 29, 2010
My people have longstanding issues with The United States Post Office (USPS). It started many, many years ago when my mother got tagged to mail care packages to the relatives in post-WWII Germany. Mom is the oldest child of German immigrants. With a name like "Gerda" you think she may have experienced a bit more prejudice during the World War II years than she did. After all, the public schools had stopped teaching German. But the little town Mom lived in was mostly German and Italian, so I suppose nobody pointed fingers at anybody out of fear that pretty so that finger would be pointed in their direction. Mom was pretty oblivious to any anti-German sentiment directed her way and for years did not quite understand WHY the people at the USPS were SO mean to her. The people who worked at the post office must have had some pretty hard feelings about Germans and the whole WWII thing, because they were downright nasty to my mother. No one had the honesty to ever directly confront Mom. The postal employees managed to harass her thoroughly. No matter how the package had been prepared for shipment, it was wrong: It needed to be wrapped in plain brown paper, no paper, with string, no string, tape, no tape, and so on and so forth. The rules and regulations changed on a weekly basis, and Mom had to drag the packages back and forth between her parents and the post office, trying helplessly to please them both. In Mom's youthful innocence and inexperience, she didn't realize WHY they were giving her so much grief. Poor Mom. To this day she has serious issues with the USPS.
I never quite understood my mother's fear of the post office. I don't deal well with the institutionalized sameness of anything very well and if I had to spend more than a week working at a post office, I'd probably be dragged off to the booby hatch. My feelings for the post office have always been fairly indifferent. Until now. I ordered a vintage style circus lion skeleton (What? You don't have one???) for Halloween. First the company sent me the wrong thing, then the one the company sent me the correct item but it was damaged. I taped the damaged item's package and carted it over to the USPS.
I should have suspected something when there was no one standing in line, but instead I thought it was my lucky day. Until I realized who was waiting on me. Surly doesn't begin to describe this woman, whom I shall refer to as "Fried Blonde" because this is pretty much what her hair looked like. (Although I think the name "Disgruntled Postal Employee" may have been on her name badge.) Fried Blonde appeared to be losing a battle with a packing tape gun and seemed disturbed that her manicure had been damaged by the tape. (I can't grow a fingernail to save my life, but it has always fascinated me when women with really bad hair have perfectly manicured nails. What is up with that???) She eyeballed my box.
"I can't accept that."
"Are you kidding me?" I asked. I could sense her wrecked manicure was quickly becoming my problem.
"This." she said, like I was an idiot for even imagining the post office might take my box staring at what was about a one-and-a-half inch tear in a large box. She then took her index claw and proceeded to flick the damaged portion of the box, which threatened to tear it further. Flick, flick, flick.
"That is stupid." I said. Needless to say you should never say this phrase to a Federal employee. What in the hell was a thinking? I am a military spouse -- I should know WAY better than this -- I've had to deal with a bureaucrat or two in my day.
Flick, flick, flick she pawed my box again with her flicker finger. Her face bore a look of utter disgust that said nothing short of: "Turd in a punch bowl."
"Could you tape it for me?" I asked.
"Nope." she said, while ironically mangling a wad of spent packing tape. "We are not allowed to do that." She tensed up and pursed her lips at me.
"Are you kidding me?" I asked, sarcastically. (Actually you can pretty much presume that anything I say is said with a sarcastic tone of voice. It's a curse.)
"Nope." she said.
"What you mean to tell me is that I am going to have to go out into the heat, drive home, re tape this stupid thing, get back into line for a little tear? Are you crazy? What is in the box is BROKEN!" Then Fried Blonde noticed I was staring at her role of packing tape. She picked it up off the counter and put it behind her back, as if I was going to snag it off the counter and run off with it.
"That's only for Priority customers." she said.
Well, before I could grab a couple beers and pop an escape chute the following issued from my mouth:
"You fucking bitch." It was wrong. I should have taken the high road and maintained my cool, but it just flew out of my mouth. I think maybe it is because my husband is deployed, and I'm under a lot of stress, but I just snapped. AND: My people have longstanding issues with the USPS. I left and shipped it from another post office. No problem. (Maybe they couldn't tell I was German...)
I called Mom later that night. Although she would have preferred I used different language, she understood. The bitch had it coming.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
No sooner could you say "Lilo is out of rehab!" was Paris Hilton getting pulled over by Las Vegas Police with the odor of pot emanating from her car, and apparently a little cocaine on her person. An even bigger problem seems to be that Paris has managed to get herself arrested in a town whose slogan is: "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas". Not to mention that she is a bloody Hilton and they must own a good chunk of that town. Here is what Paris needs: ME!
Celebrities have people for everything -- stylists, publicists, agents, blah, blah, blah -- but what they do not seem to have is a person with any common sense. So, I have decided to suggest myself for filing this position. Shout-out to Paris and Lilo: You need me. I don't plan on doing much but laundry today any way, so Paris, Lilo feel free to call me to GET A CLUE! Maybe I can help you out between loads.
Here is just one thing about rich celebrities that never ceases to amaze me: Why the hell can't you HIRE somebody to carry your drugs for you? Have them follow you around in a car separate from your own and PAY them to take the rap for you if they get caught. What is the matter with you? Regular people HAVE to carry their own drugs because they can't afford all of the staff -- but not you! Stop blowing all your money on lawyers and funnel a little preventative cash into some good ol' fashioned pay-o-la. Stop proving over and over again that you do not have to be smart to be rich. It annoys the rest of us who are out here working hard and sacrificing, who have to BEG our doctors for LEGAL SUBSTANCES, and then hope by some act of God, our insurance plan will cover the costs and the copay won't be more than our weekly income. That's another thing: Every time one of you rich, spoiled bimbos OD's or winds-up in rehab (or dead) because of abusing PRESCRIPTION drugs, OUR doctors get all pissy about prescribing the good stuff. Frankly, we are sick of carrying your burden.
It seems to me you have a bunch of people around you who can tell you how to look cute in a mug shot, but not one with enough sense to keep you out of the pokey in the first place. Hire me and I swear I will give you sage advice like "Hire a driver.", "Lilo, wipe the coke off your shoes before heading out to the paparazzi!", "Put on some panties unless you WANT your hoo-hoo in the tabloids!" and "If you don't show-up to court, the judge is gonna' be really angry." You know -- the sort of stuff a good friend (or maybe even a parent) might tell us out here in the real world.
I am here and I am waiting.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Halloween is almost upon!!! You need to get your Halloween stuff now while the getting is good -- which is NOW!!! Stores get a limited amount of primo Halloween goodness and you MUST jump on it when you see it. Just to help you a long, I am going to list some of my favorite haunts:
At the time of this post, Hancock Fabrics has 36" wide white cheese cloth for an unheard of .33 cents per yard. I just ordered a pile of this stuff which vendors rip holes in and sell as "creepy cloth" for about $5.00 for a few yards. The white cheese cloth is fantastic for haunting the house outdoor and can be used from everything from spiderwebs to mummy bandages. Remember, the stuff you get at the fabric store isn't fire retardant like most of the prepackaged, pricey "creepy cloth", so do take proper precautions with it.
I just purchased a five-foot poseable skeleton from the folks at Grandin Road. Poseable skeletons for under $100 are difficult to find, so I am hoping it is a good one. Grandin Road also carries Martha Stewarts line of Halloween stuff which is pretty cool. They are a little on the pricey side, but it has been my experience that their stuff is of good quality.
Make sure you check-out Walmart online as they carry some great Halloween stuff that never seems to make it to our local Walmart. If you are in the market for an airblown yard decoration, make sure you check-out their site first as they carry Gemmy airblowns.
This is the same brand as Grandin Road carries and they usually want twice as much for theirs. I picked-up this beauty at Walmart online last year for less than half the price they wanted at Grandin Road. The selection varies, and they don't always carry the same thing, but when they do you can save a bundle. Last year the cheapest place to find "creepy cloth" of the flame retardant type was at our local Walmart.
If you prefer your holiday with a vintage spin, check-out the goods at Victorian Trading Company:
Another vintage favorite is Traditions at:
They carry Lori Mitchell's charming trick-or-treat figurines, as well as an array of wonderful Halloween Vintage reproductions.
A wonderful site for all things Halloween and vintage is The Vintage Halloween Store:
They a chock full of goodies, links to even more Halloween fabulousness and a wonderful blog!
If you like handmade goods, or like to DIY, check out the often very cool, very unique goods at:
I made this snow globe and haunted Rolodex last year! Who knows what you might be inspired to do?
I can't guarantee that any of the items listed or pictured above -- not to mention the prices -- will be available at any of the above online retailers, especially if you don't hurry!!! So make sure you get the good stuff before these guys do!
Friday, August 20, 2010
I hate talk radio and talk T.V. Some pundit running his or her self-righteous mouth about what is wrong with the world just gives me a headache. Facts be damned!-- it's all about the sound-bites and sensationalism with these people. They spread misinformation like an STD at Woodstock; and twist the truth into a pretzel. Nine times out of ten these yo-yos are the biggest hypocrites on the block.
So, it was with no small amount of pleasure and amusement that I watched Dr. Laura Schlessinger's fall from grace this week. I just have to ask: What in the hell was she thinking? Not to mention what century is she living in? I pride myself in having a bit of a potty mouth, but even I have enough sense not to go near the "n-word". It's disgusting. I think if you're a white person the "n-word" just shouldn't be in your vocabulary PERIOD. If black people want to use it, they can discuss that issue amongst themselves, and white people just need to SHUT THE FUCK-UP about it. The "n-word" is a heinous, horrible awful word. Yet somehow, Dr. Laura's advice towards the guest calling in managed to be even worse. In case you missed it, the guest, an African-American woman in a mixed marriage called to ask Dr. Laura how to handle the racially insensitive remarks made by her husband's friends. Dr. Laura, Neanderthal-of-the-week that she is, stated something to the effect that if this caller was so sensitive then she shouldn't have married outside her race, and then the esteemed Dr. Laura proceeded to use the "n-word" -- REPEATEDLY. WTF and OMG???!!!!
Due to all the fallout and flack Dr. Laura has taken over this incident, she is quitting her thirty year talk show at the end of her contract in six months. Before you could say "Good riddance!", Dr. Laura was boo-hoo-hooing was whining about the violation of her Constitutional Rights. Was it any wonder that quicker than you can say "I can see Russia from my house", retreat and reload Sarah Palin was chiming in to support Dr. Laura.
What in the hell century are these women living in? What completely baffles me is that ANYBODY takes either of these two women seriously. What scares the crap out of me is that one of these women is considered to be a SERIOUS candidate for the office of president of the United States. Beam me up Scotty!
Not to be outdone for idiot-of-the-week, pretty soon Bill O'Reilly managed to flap his yap about something almost as stupid. Before I could completely emotionally process the bizarre, yet spookily approriate combination of Dr. Laura and Sarah Palin , that right-wing turd-bucket Bill O'Reilley was running his mouth about how Jennifer Aniston was somehow responsible for twelve-year olds running out and getting pregnant.
Jennifer Aniston? Are you kidding me?
These people scare the crap out of me because not only are they stupid, people actually listen to them. This foolishness is what passes for political debate. We have serious problems in this country and these are the morons people listen to. At best this is entertainment, at it's worst it is divisive and destructive. They have nothing to offer anybody as to real solutions, they are simply about sensationalism and self-promotion. Haven't we had enough?
Frankly, I don't think any of these people are remotely in touch with reality. To Bill O'Reilly I would like to relate the following which is from an actual conversation I had with an R.N. about a month ago:
"We had an eleven year-old give birth last week." she commented when I inquired about her job.
"Was it incest?" I asked.
"As a matter-of-fact it was." she replied.
What a shock! Jennifer Aniston had NOTHING to do with it.
Monday, August 16, 2010
I love old stuff. The cheesier the better. I actually have a collection of the plastic moo-cow creamers you used to be able to purchase at truck stops throughout this great nation. As a friend once said: "If it collects dust, I collect it." Among my dazzling collections are (and just put "vintage" in front of any of these): Flour sifters, salt and pepper shakers, flamingos, pre-Disney Floridana, hammered aluminum, the aforementioned collection of moo-cow creamers, old advertising (if it's on metal it's better) and/or ANYTHING breathtakingly tasteless. Lately in my search for vintage weirdness, I have been pulling up A LOT of Tupperware. I just don't get it. I understand outfitting your kitchen storage needs with the stuff, but once that is over, Tupperware is just sort of, well TUPPERWARE. Although I am pleased that there FINALLY something I have no interest in collecting! I just don't get it.
Tupperware is just so damn FUNCTIONAL. I didn't realize that people have actually found some aesthetic value in something so, well, BORING. Not to mention that it is virtually indestructible so there are mountains of the Tupperware floating the thrifts, yard sales and flea markets. Maybe it's mass inexpensive availability is what makes it appealing as a collectible.
My big problem with it is that Tupperware is not even tasteless enough to be amusing. If you collect a huge wall of Tupperware, guests will just look at it an go: "My, you have a lot of Tupperware." and silently question your sanity.
Technology has also created a plethora of food storage technology that is just light years away from Tupperware. There is stuff you can microwave, shove carelessly into the dishwasher, freeze and drop from the top of a ten-story building without it spilling. My mother was always sort of particular about her Tupperware too, and reserved it as her "good" storage. For "everyday" storage, she utilized recycled Cool Whip bowls or a Parkay tub. Perhaps this perceived "special handling" has put me off of Tupperware's utilitarian value in favor of more indestructible product, but I don't understand why anybody would collect it.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Face it: Most of us have had one shitty job or another where we desperately wanted to tell someone who desperately deserved it to fuck-off. Steven Slater saying "sayonara" to his job, deploying an escape slide and popping-open a brewski for the ride down spoke to many of us who have had to put up with the not-so-friendly public. I have to give Slater props for exiting with style. When vomiting into a toilet and yanking out some one's hair extensions passes as entertainment, this Slater showed some creativity and panache. The big question I have to everybody waving Slater's fed-up flag is: "Have you flown lately?"
I try really hard to be nice to people, even though it runs a little contrary to my nature, but flying ANYWHERE these days grates on my last nerve. Going through the airport and getting on a flight is akin to running some sort of stress-test gauntlet to see what airlines will do this time to test my last nerve.
A million years ago when I was young, I used to love to fly. Even flying coach was a happy experience where airport personnel were happy, helpful and downright pleasant. Things started to take a terrible turn when airlines started to compete for the lowest price by cutting back on services, and no doubt the nail-in-the-coffin of customer service occurred with the tragedies of 9/11/2001. I understand that airlines and airports had to increase security while keeping costs low, but when I have flown recently, the staff at many major airlines have been wrapped tighter than the proverbial airport sandwiches, if not downright rude. Instead of feeling like a customer, I feel like the enemy. In short, I hate flying.
On a flight to I forget where, I predetermined just how much and what size baggage I could carry. I carefully packed all of my stuff into two suitcases, under the limit set at that time. One regular sized bag to be checked, one to be used as a carry-on. To make matters simpler, I didn't even carry a purse, but put everything into one small carry-on. When I boarded the plane the flight attendant grabbed my bag without even asking saying it would have to be checked, because the plane was ALREADY filed to capacity with carry-ons. My response was probably not dripping with kindness because I had already been through security who pulled everything out of said carry-on, and made a rather huge production out of pulling each and every one of my medications out of the bag and holding it up to the light, and shaking the bottles. After having had my checked baggage lost or delayed more times than I can count, I was NOT going to allow a flight attendant to check my medications. I most likely said something like: "Hey, you can't have that. My meds are in there!", which was way more polite than "WTF???" which is what I was actually thinking. These pills regulate my heart and she just wasn't getting them. Then flight attendant got huffy with me and told me that the airlines could check "whatever baggage" I brought on the plane. I informed her that either the bag went with me, or I would get off of the plane. Wisely she let me bring my bag on board, although she wasn't exactly roses and sunshine to me for the rest of the flight. My solution to this problem is to ALWAYS carry my meds in a purse because NO ONE will grab a woman's purse and try to check it. In short, I now bring more luggage on the plane than I did before.
On a long flight from Florida to Salt Lake City we had a flight attendant who decided to make everyone buckle-up and stay in their seats because of "turbulence" -- of which there wasn't much, if any. We had to stay buckled into our seats and were not allowed to use the bathroom for most of the flight. When she finally did let us use the john, and a long line formed. After about two people had actually used the facilities, the flight attendant announced we would all have to go back into our seats and buckle ourselves in. Was I a bad customer because preferred disobeying her order to wetting myself? Maybe.
Having been a flunky to somebody most of my adult life, I get that airline service people are between a rock -- the company they work for-- and a hard place -- the consumer, but just exactly TO WHOM do I direct my complaints? I met a guy at a party who used to work in customer service for the airlines and his response to my very civil inquiry about airline problems was that I should find some other means of transportation, especially if I have health problems. WTF??? Although, I am pleased he is out of customer service, he still works for the airlines. (By the way, this dude makes WAY more money than I ever made in any of my flunky jobs and I had to put up with some serious stress and plenty of nasty attitude too.)
I get why Steven Slater did what he did. I am just not so sure that he is a working class hero. Everybody is under a lot of stress. My husband has been deployed more times than I can count since 9/11/2001. I understand the need for added security at airports and on planes. However, I think the airline industry has given customer service the boot in favor of the bottom line and I really don't like being treated like excess baggage when I fly. Some of the hostility people express towards airline personnel is because airlines have created a very stressful atmosphere in which to travel. Yes, people can be assholes, but when you treat them like they are already assholes, should you be surprised when they act that way?
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
There is an entire industry, probably several if you want to get right down to it, dedicated to making people feel like crap about getting old. As an official member of AARP and the over-fifty gang I would like to say this: Youth is overrated. Somebody needed to say it and today that someone is ME!
O.K., "stuff" on my body has fallen and it doesn't seem to want to get back up. My health isn't all that great and that sort of sucks. The older generation is passing away and it is sad. But being young wasn't all that swell either. Everyone keeps telling me it is downhill from here. When I used to go bicycling as a kid I always LIKED going downhill, so maybe downhill isn't so bad. Here are a few things about getting old that are pretty cool:
1. Older people have more money. Sure, you can't fit into the stuff you wanted to buy when you were twenty and couldn't afford, but big whoop. Have you taken a gander at pictures of stylish people of the 1980's? A lot of them look pretty damned ridiculous so consider yourself fortunate you did not blow your money on such stupidity. Plus, when you are old you need the money because you should have "people" to do as much for you as possible.
2. Older people can terrorize younger people. This can be a lot of fun when you are out shopping and you feel the need to command a little servitude. I try to be careful about not getting too carried away with this one (because I could), but damn it is fun! Watching fresh-faced youth scramble to do your bidding is just so fulfilling. When I was in my twenties and got cranky with somebody, I was being snotty or had PMS, now they take me seriously. Who knew that age would equal authority? Oh, yes, this ROCKS!
3. You can give up trying to be cool. Middle-age people who try to be cool are just sad. They are the guys with hair implants and Ed Hardy t-shirt thinking they are still thin because instead of buying jeans that fit, they just plunk the beer belly over the top of their pants. Those Housewives of Whatever on T.V. who have been tanned, lifted and botoxed look embalmed and are not fooling anybody about their age. There isn't that much you can do about aging that doesn't look sort of pitiful, so just put on some stretchy pants, comfortable shoes and go terrorize some young people. You'll feel better. I promise.
4. The child-bearing years are OVER! O.K., I am NOT a big kiddie person, but I KNEW at the age of eight when they were telling me the facts of life, that women were getting the short-end-of-the-stick. Try as I may I could not find ANYTHING good about getting your period, much less having babies. Frankly, it seemed like a real rip-off and kind of unfair. The other little girls were all excited about getting their periods, having babies, and to me the whole thing just looked like a big old con job. I was right. Having a hysterectomy a few years ago was awesome. I HIGHLY recommend it.
5. I am so grateful that I have found my wonderful husband, and I hope I NEVER HAVE TO DATE AGAIN. That was a freak show. To any of you out there who are still dating, you have my deepest respect and sympathy. You will understand why.
Sure, I wish I could still fit into the size I wore back then. I wish I knew then what I now know -- but you couldn't pay me enough to relive my twenties. Getting old has a real down side, but it isn't all bad: You get those swell senior citizen discounts and there is a lot to be said for an Early Bird Special.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I grew up in Illinois, but we moved to Sarasota, Florida when I was 17. It was in 1976 and reminders that Sarasota was a circus town were easy to find. Flipping through the phonebook I found a listing for for the famed circus clown Emmett Kelly. It was not at all unusual to see a trapeze a people in someones backyard. After all, the town's high school was home to the "Sailor Circus" and people took this legacy seriously. Our neighbor's parents had owned a circus in Canada and her household pets were a team of performing poodles, with one teeny, tiny Yorkie who would climb on top of the pyramid they used to form. Retired to sunny Sarasota, the poodles eventually died off, leaving the Yorkie as the last survivor of the act. In time, like so much of Florida, he too passed away.
There were the more obvious circus landmarks in Sarasota, such as the John Ringling's home and the Ringling museum. A little more obscure, just up the road toward Bradenton there was a cemetary where many past circus performers are buried.
If you were to travel even farther north, but not quite to Tampa, you would run into a curious little town called Gibsonton, also known as "Showtown U.S.A.".
In the circus pecking order sideshows and carnies were on the lowest rung, and Gibsonton became their curious winter home. "Gibton" is what the locals call it. It isn't a very big place, in fact if it wasn't for the tilt-a-whirls and carnival trailers lining the road you could pretty much blink and miss it.
It is one of those curious bits of Floridana slowly fading away. I think Gibton is more likely to rust than fade, but as real estate prices climbed, wealth and so-called taste prevailed, little bits of Florida-past become more difficult to find.
Traveling south from Tampa along U.S. 41 (the Tamiami Trail), you would cross the Alafia river and there would be the sign advertising Giants Camp Restuarant. It was, of course, owned by a giant, Al Tomani, who stood over eight-feet tall and his wife, Jeanie, also known as "half-woman" because she was only two-and-a-half feet tall. The bought the place back in the 1940's, rented out a few places out back, and soon Gibton would become a winter haven for carnival and sideshow people. Sadly, the restaurant closed down in 2006, but for better or for worse, Gibton lingers on.
It is not unusual to see a pile of circus junk in somebody's yard in Gibton. Where other communities form neighborhood associations to regulate and restrict their subdivisions, in Gibton there is civic pride in having a tilt-a-whirl in your front yard. At its best, Gibton is pretty seedy. If that sort of thing bothers you, you may want to pass on through.
Strangely enough though, it is the part of Florida I miss the most.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Those wretched Salahis are back trying to squeeze a little more time out of their fifteen minutes of fame. If you don't remember them these were the two idiots who crashed a White House state dinner and for some reason are not in JAIL. Just like the proverbial bad penny these two media whores are back to suck a little more life out of their fleeting fifteen. Television has seriously sucked this last week, but nothing could make me watch these two grifters on "The Real Housewives of Washington D.C.". Now Michaele Salahi is boo-hoo-hooing about how Whoopi Goldberg treated her on "The View".
Whoopi wasn't as nice to Michaele as Michaele THOUGHT she should be to her. For somebody who crashes state functions and then whores herself out for a T.V. gig, Michaele is very sensitive. I watched the replay of Whoopi's on camera interaction and all Whoopi did was touch her and request that she change the subject. I guess the encounter continued back stage where Whoopi used some colorful language on the highly insulted Michaele Salahi. Good for Whoopi. If ever a pair needed to be told to "Fuck you!" it is these two self-inflated scumbags. I don't know why these two have been REWARDED for their egregious behavior at the White House last year, but if it were up to me they would be in the slammer.
The past few weeks on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" and "The Jersey Shore" there have been several scuffles that have involved police intervention. This makes for good television, but at what point are T.V. executives responsible for encouraging illegal behavior? In real life, hitting another person is a violation of the law. On reality T.V., if the police are called out, the ratings are higher. Who is paying for all of this? Don't the people producing these shows have some responsibility for their stars' behavior when they know they are setting-up, if not actually encouraging, illegal behavior? Don't they have some moral, ethical and financial responsibility for the illegal activities that occur on their shows? Is this how we want our system of jurisprudence utilized? Of course a lot of this stuff is as phony as a three-dollar bill and entirely scripted, but some of this stuff seems to be the real deal.
Then there is FAKE celebrity Michaele Salahi boo-hoo-hooing that REAL celebrity Whoopi Goldberg has somehow abused her. Gag me! Salahi is always such a victim. When she and her husband crashed a state dinner they were NOT invited to, they expressed such a lack of respect for the office of the President of the United States and the President's safety, we should all be insulted. I am not encouraging anything, but I kinda' wish Whoopi had slugged her.